Generic: gamma-Linolenic Acid
treats Pruritus, Immune enhancement, Ulcerative colitis, Diabetic neuropathy, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Osteoporosis, Menopausal hot flashes, Blood pressure control, Sjogren's syndrome, Rheumatoid arthritis, Mastalgia, Migraine, Pre-eclampsia, Premenstrual syndrome, Acute respiratory distress syndrome, Atopic dermatitis, and Cancer treatment
TraditionWARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Cancer, cystic fibrosis, red blood cell aplasia, systemic sclerosis (rare chronic disease), venous (vein) disorders.
Adults (over 18 years old)
There is no proven effective dose for GLA in adults. GLA is likely safe when taken by mouth short- term (up to 18 months) in recommended doses. GLA is possibly safe when used long term (up to 36 months). Doses as high as 6 grams per day have been taken for treatment of hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), and dose as high as 2.8 grams have been taken for rheumatoid arthritis and as an adjuvant treatment with tamoxifen, although there is some concern that these high levels may have adverse effects. However, studies following patients taking large doses, for example, 1.4g to 2.8 grams per day for up to one year, have found GLA to be non- toxic.
Common doses of GLA range between 500- 1,000 milligrams per day. For atopic eczema, up to 920 milligrams has been taken daily. For diabetic neuropathy, up to 480 milligrams has been taken daily. Intravenous preparations (injections) have also been studied, although injections should only be given under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist.
Children (under 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for GLA in children. However, for atopic eczema, 360- 460 milligrams daily has been used.
SafetyDISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
Avoid in individuals with allergy or sensitivity to gamma linolenic acid. However, no reports of allergy or hypersensitivity have been reported in the available literature.
Side Effects and Warnings
GLA is generally considered nontoxic and well tolerated for up to 18 months. Possible side effects may include upset and bloated stomach, soft stool, nausea and vomiting, flatulence (gas) and belching.
Supplementation with GLA at high levels and for a long duration has been suggested to produce excess levels of arachidonic acid. Chronic use may result in changes in the blood and increase bleeding time. However, studies of diets rich in GLA did not reveal any significant change in blood parameters. Until more research resolves this controversy, caution is advised in those using anticoagulant or antiplatelet (blood thinning) agents.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding